On Wednesday, local media announced the discovery of hundreds of new graves with the help of ground-penetrating radar near a former boarding school for Aboriginal children in Canada, operated by the Catholic Church.
In a statement carried by Canadian media, the original Koes group announced that it had made a “horrific and shocking discovery of hundreds of unidentified graves” at the site of the former residential school in Marival, saying it was “the highest number to date in Canada”.
Searches around the former Marival School in Saskatchewan began after the remains of 215 children were found at an Aboriginal residential school in western Canada in late May, causing a shock wave in the country.
The bodies of the abused children, some as young as 3, were found buried at the Kamloops Indigenous Residential Catholic School, once the largest in the country, in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
This discovery led the Canadian government to say that Pope Francis should make a formal apology for the role the Catholic Church has played in the country’s education system.
The Saskatchewan community and leaders of the Federation of Sovereign States today are expected to share the new discovery.
“It’s absolutely tragic, but not surprising,” Berry Belgaard, president of the First Nations Association, which represents more than 900,000 citizens of Canada, wrote on the social network Twiter.
Marival Residential School in East Saskatchewan welcomed Indigenous children from 1899 to 1997, before it was demolished two years later and replaced with a day school.
About 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly detained in 139 such schools across the country until the 1990s.
Many were mistreated or sexually abused, and more than 4,000 died, according to a commission of inquiry that concluded Canada had committed “cultural genocide.”